Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to affect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others. That which is hidden. In this culture the soul and the heart too often go homeless. Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you."

-- Rachel Naomi Remen

Lord, help me to be a better listener to those around me. And send me someone to listen to the denied, unloved, and devalued parts of myself. Thank you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If the Truth Hurts, then Lies Kill

Last night I uncovered multiple lies that FireMan has been telling me. Either directly to my face, dodging around fully truthful statements, or thru intentional omission of facts.

Yes, I found out via snooping.

I've had the feeling for a while that he was holding something back.

Recent developments only increased that feeling.

I swear sometimes it's like I just know. Women's intuition perhaps?

Oh, the lies.

Had lied to my face about something just a couple of hours earlier. And the thing is... if he had been honest, it wouldn't have been a big deal. That's what I don't get about some of these. I don't see the reason for the lie.

Others are obvious. Things that he knows I do consider a big deal. Lies he's repeating from the past.

Lies, lies, lies.

This time, I don't feel stupid though.

Things have been going fairly well. In many ways we both have made great strides to becoming better partners for one another.

But... the lies, the deceit, the intentional misleading... I don't know how to be in a relationship with someone who lies to me on a regular basis, someone who shows no remorse, someone who has no emotion when faced with their lies.

I don't even know how to live with that person.

It reminds me of college. For several years I shared a house with 5 girls. At one point we had an issue with one of the girls being a compulsive liar.

Know what the rest of us did? Confronted her, and when she didn't stop, kicked her out. Had her lease terminated. Seriously.

Because how could you share living space with someone you don't trust? It makes everyone else uncomfortable, always worrying, wondering if what the person is saying is truthful, be it big or small.

And now here I am, many moons later, living with and married to someone who lies to me on what is apparently a fairly regular basis.

I say apparently because I don't actually check up on him often. Rarely even (anymore). So how long as this been going on? At least a few weeks. Looks like months actually. Or maybe it just never, ever stopped.

Sometimes I wonder who this man is that I married.

Since becoming married, I have found out (usually thru his slip up) that things he told me when we were dating were not true. Things that would probably have ended the relationship had I known at the time.

Sometimes I wonder if anything in our relationship is real at all. Or is our entire life together just  a sham?

I don't even know what to feel right now.

I'm not angry. I'm don't even feel hurt.

But I am really, really sad. I feel like I could burst into tears at any moment.

I haven't talked to him since he left this morning. I don't know if I'll talk to him when he calls. Not because I'm angry. Not because I'm intentionally giving him the silent treatment, but simply because I have no words for him at this point.

No words.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Fantasies

Yes, I have them.

They rarely involve my husband (anymore).

They used to. But then I was always disappointed. So now they're always framed in this "secret admirer" type of situation.

So hopefully you understand that I'm not talking about sex.

I had a birthday a while back. And it was a milestone for me. And I felt old. And yes, I had mentioned to my hubby that I didn't want anything big, like a party or anything.

Not that I really had to worry about that. I mean, my husband hasn't even gotten me a birthday present in 5 years.

2007. My first birthday with him. He got me a birthstone necklace. It was beautiful. I actually wore it at our wedding.

2008. My birthday came & went with nothing but dinner. We had recently found out I was pregnant and two weeks after my birthday we traded in the pickup truck for the SUV we have now. About a month later, when I tease him about not getting me anything, he tries to say that I got a car for my birthday, and how many wives can say that? and how can I not be grateful for such a big present? You know, the SUV we got two weeks after my birthday, that we would have gotten anyway because we were having a kid. He still claims that was my present.

2009. My cell phone had been acting up for months. I got a new phone a week or so before my birthday. But so did FireMan. He tried to say it was my birthday present, but I contested that it can't be my present if he's getting one too. Why is he getting a new phone "just because", but I have to use my birthday present for mine? That's not fair, so it doesn't count. He insists that's my present, and I'm not getting anything else. And he lives up to that.

2010. I think we just went to dinner. Maybe a movie. No actual present. Not sure I even got a card.

2011. I'm 99% sure we just went to dinner. Definitely no present. And I'm fairly certain I did not get a card.

So needless to say, this year I wasn't expecting anything. Even if it is a milestone birthday. Even if our relationship is better. Even if I do have a history of getting him kick-ass presents (except for this year, because why bother? but that's a whole 'nother blog post, you know?).

The day before my birthday FireMan is on shift and I ask if he got my present yet. Nope. I suggest he ask the guys if they can do a WalMart run. He laughs.

I wake up the morning of my birthday. He was on shift the night before. The house is quiet. There is nothing to mark the day. My mind starts to wander.

Maybe I'll get to work and there will be balloons... no, flowers on my desk.

And then I realize that FireMan would never do that. Like, ever.

So that tiny little thought turns into this fantasy. That I come into work and there's this lovely bouquet of flowers on my desk, and no note, or maybe just a note that says "Happy Birthday", but it's not signed.

And what if they're actually my favorite flower? What if someone actually knows me well enough to know what my favorite flower is, and has them sent to my office for my birthday?

And I got all tingly & giddy just thinking about it.

And I got to my office and there was nothing there.

But that didn't keep me from thinking that maybe the front desk would call me with a delivery.

Didn't keep my mind wandering off, fantasizing about this made up secret admirer for hours, creating all kinds of scenarios where this secret admirer gets me just the perfect gift and somehow gets it to me without me noticing him.

But by the end of the day, my fantasies had waned into nothing.

But that's okay. I wouldn't know what to do with a secret admirer anyway.

And when I got home? FireMan had gotten me a dozen roses, and a very sweet card.

I'm not sure how he knew I had flowers on the brain, or maybe it was just a lucky coincidence, but... yay.

Anyway, the point is that I fantasize on occasion. Not about sex, but about romance. About being swept away with the kind attentions of a man. An unknown, faceless, man.

I guess everybody needs fantasies in some way, huh?

Friday, March 23, 2012

I want you to want me

A 2007 study found that 40% of women who cheat on their spouses do so for more emotional attention, and another 33% do so to be reassured of their desirability.

While I have no intention of cheating, I believe the study is accurate. I can see where the desire for attention is there, and when combined with opportunity, it could develop further.

I cannot tell you how many times I have begged FireMan to pay more attention with me, spend more time with me & FireGirl (he has improved in this area), or in despair said "You never listen to me!"

To quote Pete from the movie Knocked Up: "The biggest problem in our marriage is that she wants me around."

And, just to refresh your memory, I work with almost entirely men.

And you remember this incident, right?

No, it hasn't happened again.

But the other day one of my best friend-coworkers (yes, a guy) and I got to talking. For an hour and 45 minutes. I didn't think anything of it at the time. There were only three of us even in the office, and he's been going thru some stuff, and he is one of my few actual friends at work, and we tell each other stuff, so... we started talking.

And before I knew it, it had been nearly two hours, and I needed to leave to pick up FireGirl from preschool.

We talked about everything. Work, home, family, kids, parents, grandparents, health, mental health, relationships, marriage, pets, college, past jobs, old girlfriends / boyfriends... one thing just kept leading to another and the conversation was easy.

To be clear, I have absolutely no interest in this person. Never did, not even when I was single. Besides, one of the things I happen to know about him is how he cheated on his wife repeatedly throughout their marriage before they finally got divorced. Good friend, yes. Recommend him to a girlfriend to date, not a chance.

Anywho... later that night FireMan had one of our infamous I-wanna-talk-and-he-couldn't-care-less moments.

And I couldn't help but let my mind drift back to earlier in the day, when I had an easy, two hour conversation with someone who wanted to talk to me. Someone who seeks me out to tell me new developments in their life. Someone who trusts me with secrets, and who I trust with mine.

And I couldn't help but wonder if I perhaps know more about this fellow than I do about my own husband. Does he know more about me than my own husband does? He might. It's possible. Certainly not for lack of effort on my part though.

And I couldn't help but wish that my husband showed me the same attention, wanted to spend that much time just communicating with me, wanted to tell me what was going on in his life, wanted to ask what was going on in mine.

Yes, hubby, I want you to want me. I really, really do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Those Stupid Little Things... Well, They're Actually Really Big

FireMan & I got into a fight the other night.

Started off innocently enough. I asked him if he knew what my favorite movie was. I was kinda teasing him, because I thought surely he knew the answer.

He stumbled around and listed two are three movies, and ended with "I don't know"

Now, to be fair, my favorite movie was one of the ones he listed, but... how did he not know this?

Yeah, I should preface this by saying that my teasing him... well, it was in the context of the fact that he still knows not only his ex-wife's favorite movie, but her favorite line from that movie. And I was teasing him about it. How we got into that conversation is not important to this post.

What is important is that he knows his ex-wife's favorite line from her favorite movie... and can't even name (with assurance) what my favorite movie is.

I'm not sure how the rest of the ladies out there would feel about that, but it did not sit well with me.

So this began a conversation. As upset as I was, at this point it was more of a kinda of sad than anything. I mean, how does my hubby not know this?!?

We've been married 4 years, together 6.

His ex-wife? Well, they've been divorced 6 years, separated 7, and were barely even together 4 years total.

Yet he knows this about her, and not me.

I asked him if he knew my favorite color (again, at this point I'm calm, I'm kinda teasing, because I still think surely he will know my favorite color, I mean my 3 yr old knows my favorite color, so surely my hubby will, right?)

He answers with assurance.

Not only the wrong color... he names his ex-wife's favorite color.

Which just so happens to be probably my least favorite color, and isn't even in the same color family as mine.

Now... not happy.

Kinda want to hit him.

So, he knows his ex-wife's favorite line from her favorite movie, remembers her favorite color 7 years later... and doesn't know any of that stuff about me?!?

This is not good.

I remain calm. More than being upset with him, I see this as a problem that we need to correct.

The truth is that we moved rather quickly thru our dating relationship - meeting, dating, becoming serious, moving in together, getting engaged, and finally getting married just 18 months after we met. And pregnant two months after our honeymoon.

I'm thinking ( and say to him ): "We moved really quickly thru our dating relationship, we didn't take time to get to know these little things about each other. We should date each other! Really date!"

As I'm saying it I go from being a little irritated to thinking this could be fun. Things have been going pretty well lately, I'd like to date the love of my life, right?

He responds by reminding me that we just had a date night, and then asking me where I want to go next.

So I explain that I don't just mean going out to eat once in a while, but really dating, being absorbed in each other, talking to each other like we can't get enough, asking questions like we don't know each other (because obviously we don't, right?), spending time together because we can't think of a better place to be than with each other.

His reaction?

"I'm tired" and he rolls over.

Oh yeah, this conversation took place in bed. Most of our good ones do. When else do we see each other without a preschooler around, right?

But now I'm excited about my idea. I playfully poke his side, lay on his chest staring into his closed eyes and announce that I'll go first.

I tell him my favorite movie, and my favorite line from that movie. My 2nd favorite movie, and my top 2 lines from that movie. My favorite color (then & now, it changes), a few other things that I am quite certain (and he confirms) he doesn't know about me. Maybe 6 or 7 things total. Takes maybe 2 minutes.

Then I say "okay... you're turn!" - still kinda excited about this brilliant idea of mine

"I'm going to bed"

"But... c'mon! I just told you a few things about me! You're turn! Tell me something about yourself!"

"I like to go to bed early, and I'm going to sleep now"

And then he proceeds to ignore me.

This. Sets. Me. Off.

I may or may not have ripped the covers off of him, yelled at him, and then stormed out of the room slamming the door behind me.

I may or may not have just gone off on him about the deeper issue of how I'm sick & tired of putting myself out there, sharing with him, giving him more of myself, and getting nothing in return.

I may have overreacted.

Or I may have reacted just enough, when you consider all the stuff behind this behavior of his.

I wanted him to tell me one thing. One thing about himself. 10 seconds. And he wouldn't give me that.

I suggest dating - I mean, how fun is it to date the person you love, right? - and he acts like it's a prison sentence.

I'm not gonna lie - I do feel like I overreacted when I blew up at him.

But I also feel like I remained calm and positive and reasonable far longer than many would have. I was trying to turn this issue into something positive, something constructive, something we could use to build up our relationship with... and he pooped on it.

As if it's not bad enough that I know (from him mentioning thru the years) of all these other things that he did for his ex-wife that he has since flat out refused to do for me (gifts, nice dinners, romantic dates, dressing up, and the bitch even got a planned out, thoughtful, romantic proposal [unlike mine]), and now I'm faced with the reality that not only does he still know more about her, but he doesn't even care to learn about me, as excited as he was to date her, he doesn't want to date me, and it seems like the more I try to love him, the more times I get slapped in the face.

I am so tired of being rejected time and time again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Homewrecker? Polygamist? Swinger? You Decide!

I was reviewing my stats for this blog the other day, and noticed something interesting.

I think the clear winner is whoever is searching for the phrase "i think my husband is satan". It may not be at the top of the list, but clearly... the best search option to land on my blog.

But I also find two of the others interesting:


"i feel so stupid for calling his wife"

Um... I'm not sure who you are, or even how that phrase landed on my blog, but... STOP whatever you are doing. And no, I don't mean stop calling his wife. I mean stop whatever you are doing with him. He's married! I don't care what he tells you, just stop!


And last but not least we have "shared wife"

In case you didn't figure out it, that is not what this blog is about.


And with that... I think I will make it a point to check those keywords every once in a while. Who knows how many interesting hits I've missed?

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm Selfish

So... I've come to realize lately that I've been selfish.

And (but) to be honest, I bounce back & forth between it's bad and it's normal (because that's normal, does that make it okay?) and it's reasonable (again, does that make it okay?), and it's not selfishness, it's standing up for yourself and expressing what you want / need.

I don't really have a conclusions yet. Part of the journey, I suppose. But I do think that maybe there's a really fine line between standing up for yourself & expressing what you need from your spouse, and being a selfish little brat.

I guess in reflection I can see where lately I've been more on the selfish end of things. I also see where over the past few years I've made this journey, where for a really long time I concentrated on what he needed / wanted from me and busted my butt in attempts to give him what he needed & wanted.

And felt like I wasn't getting that same selflessness in return.

FireMan has become so much a better husband than he was a couple of years ago. He does do things for me. I don't want this to sound like another my-husband's-a-jerk post.

I guess what I'm saying is that in trying to figure out where I got here, I think his selfishness spun off of into need for me to assert my needs & wants, after they had been ignored for so long.

That after so long of feeling ignored and feeling like I was giving, giving, giving and not getting back what I needed, I imagine it's a natural part of the human psyche to reach this sort of survival mode, where you stop caring about other people's needs (not that I ever stopped caring, I swear), and start asserting that your own needs be met.

Sort of a I'll-hunt-to-feed-the-pride-until-I-realize-I'm-starving-myself situation.

I'm not saying my selfishness is good, or right. I am saying that I do feel it is justified, explainable, and a natural reaction of the neglect I was receiving from my spouse.

Similar to what happened here.

Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it okay.

Does make it my actions, and I need to own them, and take steps to change my behavior.

But I do think there's a lesson here for everyone.

And... you know what... I'm gonna expound on that a little bit.

I hope this makes sense. It makes sense in my head.

Now... what do I need to do?

I think first of all I need to try to do some quiet reflection and see where my actions really have been.

I need to put my husband's needs above my own.

I need to work to strike a balance between asserting what my needs & wants are, without neglecting his needs, or... well, acting like a selfish little brat.

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."    -- Philippians 2:2-4 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blog Love

I've found a new blog to love. I honestly don't even remember how I found this blog, but I'm glad I did.

It addresses very real marital issues in very real ways.

I'm still working my way thru their writings, but some of my favorite posts (so far):

Are you Accepting or Tolerating your Spouse?

Changing My Mind

Porn's Influence on Marriage

Three Steps to Release Yourself from Resentment

Hope ya'll find it as interesting as I do!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm a Freakin' Awesome Wife

*disclaimer* This is not to say I don't have MANY areas that need work, but simply that sometimes I need to be reminded that I'm a freakin' awesome wife. I really am.

I'm the kind of wife who:

- works full time outside of the home, bringing in 40-45% of our household income, all of the health/vision/dental benefits, and the preschool subsidy so we can afford great child care

- does 85% of the housework

- does 95% of the child care

- does 65% of the pet care

- still manages to do 25% of the other family-upkeep-tasks

I'm the kind of wife who:

- plans & saves for 18 months to throw you a surprise birthday party, as well as take you diving / snorkeling on a surprise trip. Including putting in all of her own personal money (Christmas, birthdays, etc) and arranging the entire trip, including time off from your boss.

- spends months researching the best new smart phone for you for Christmas

- spends weeks researching options, and gives you a white water rafting trip for your birthday, just because you said you really liked it & hadn't gone in a while

I'm the kind of wife who:

- when you mess up, royally, while still expecting you to take responsibility for your own actions, also takes the opportunity to look at herself and see how she can better meet your needs as her husband

- then busts her butt to try to do just that

- and no matter how many people tell her or hint that she should consider divorce, only did so long enough to say "for better for worse, till death do us part"

I'm the kind of wife who:

- joins community groups because you enjoy them

- learns to scuba dive so we can have something to do together

- goes to events she doesn't really want to go to, and sits there bored & alone for five hours, simply because you told her you really wanted her there

Yep. I'm freakin' awesome. I have my faults, sure, but I totally rock this wife thing